The object of protection

The sui generis right applies to all the data collected together in the database.

The conditions of protection

The sui generis right applies to databases that are the result of a qualitatively or quantitatively substantial investment. This investment consists of the use of significant financial, technical or human resources (such as the involvement of qualified personnel or the acquisition of specific technical equipment) to create the database.

For example, the creation of a database consisting of a website containing cinema screening times for the whole of Belgium demonstrates a substantial investment insofar as the data has to be collected weekly, specific software had to be acquired and proactive website management is necessary.

In another example, the schedules of a public transport service cannot be protected by the sui generis right because these schedules come from the public transport organisation. There is no specific investment in the creation of the database that contains the schedules. On the other hand, if the data is organised into a database online, with a search tool and a route planner, the investment required for the presentation of all these data may nevertheless be sufficient to apply the sui generis right.

Last update
24 March 2022